Buying First Camera - Need Advice Please

Started Aug 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
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XavierVagabond
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Buying First Camera - Need Advice Please
Aug 20, 2013

Ok, so I'm going to take the plunge and buy my first "decent" camera, but I'm honestly having some trouble figuring out what will be best for me. There's loads of options and I am still trying to learn what all the specs and features are, so I was hoping others might be able to fast-track me towards something that might work well for my needs.

Since I have very little photography experience, I probably won't be able to make much use of the various features - at least initially. However, my goal is to get a camera that I can "grow into" a bit, and that will continue to perform reasonably well as my experience increases. For this reason I am willing to buy something that might be a step up from what I really need at the moment if it will be worth it in the long-run.

For now, the number one consideration for me is size. I will mostly be taking city and temple shots during the day (with a few night shots) and want something I can easily carry around in my cargo shorts, shirt front pocket, or even in a jeans pocket. Obviously that limits the options a lot. I would love something with 10X optical zoom rather than the 5X I've seen, but I guess that probably puts me into a bigger size?

My budget is around $500 USD. I am flexible on that if the camera is worth it, but it seems hard to justify more than that for something that I probably can't full utilize due to limited experience.

Right now, the options I've mostly seen suggested that might fit are:

Canon S100

Canon S110

Sony RX100

Edit: One thing I've read about with the Canon S100 is the dreaded "lens error".  I am travelling around for months and really don't want to deal with malfunctions/repairs.  Is this still an issue with the S110?

I am currently in Thailand and went looking at cameras today and saw the Canon S110 for about $400, so the RX100 (if I can even find it) is likely a fair bit more.

So based on my limited experience but the desire to find something of high quality that I can improve my skills with, what would you recommend? Are there other brands/models I should be considering as well?

The help is much appreciated. There's just too many makes/models for me to properly wrap my newbie mind around right now.

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